A successful study abroad experience is a safe study abroad experience. As
long as you act responsibly and exercise caution, we trust that you will have a
safe and enjoyable time abroad.
On January 24, 2012, the U.S. Department of State issued an updated Worldwide Caution Public Announcement. The Study Abroad Office encourages all study abroad students to read this announcement.
Before going overseas, we strongly encourage you to consider the following safety tips:
When traveling, research the safest modes of transport. For a list of internationally recognized airports, please see the Federal Aviation Administration site.
Keep all valuables on your person while traveling. If possible, carry minimal cash and separate your cash from your credit or debit cards.
Keep an eye on your belongings at all times, and never accept packages from strangers. Pick-pocketing is a widespread problem, and Americans are often a prime target. Stay constantly aware of your surroundings.
Don't bring extremely valuable possessions with you. If you have an irreplaceable item, it might be best to leave it safely at home.
Make two copies of your passport. Keep one copy in a safe place and leave one copy at home. Once you arrive in country, leave your passport in a secure location except when traveling. Do not carry it around at all times.
While studying abroad, students are representatives of Towson University. Please be aware that you are bound to the TU code of conduct while you are overseas. If we are informed of any breaches to the code of conduct, there may be ramifications when you return to campus.
Every year, students hurt themselves in alcohol-related incidents. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so responsibly! Stay with other people at all times, and exercise good judgment.
Do not become involved with illegal drugs. The punishment for drug use in some countries is extremely severe.
Before you leave, research the social norms surrounding gender relations. Determine which signals can be misconstrued, and avoid using them whenever possible.
In some countries, women may feel particularly vulnerable. If this is the case where you are studying, avoid walking alone late at night or dressing in culturally inappropriate attire. As always, be sure to discuss any specific concerns with your resident director.
Other Safety Concerns
Road accidents are the number one cause of injury to U.S. citizens abroad. Become familiar with safe modes of public transportation and avoid driving in unfamiliar areas.
In some countries, students may encounter anti-American sentiment. In general, it is safest to keep a low profile when out in public. The more you can blend in, the safer you will be.
Avoid potentially volatile situations, such as protests, rallies and well-known American hot-spots.
Be sure that your faculty or program director consistently knows of your whereabouts, and establish a way to stay in contact with your family and friends.
Most importantly, if something does happen while you are overseas, stay calm and find your way to a safe location as soon as possible.